Nov. 20, 2016 - Christ the King, Year C
Saint Martin de Tours Catholic Church
We no longer have a clear understanding or concept of kingship. So what do we do with this feast of Christ the King? How are we to understand Jesus as our king if we have no experience of kings?
There is the queen of England, but she's just a figurehead. Her role is merely ceremonial. She holds no power.
There is our president. He is very powerful, but he's not really a monarch; he's not really a king. He's an elected official.
There are dictators in our world, but they are not really kings either. And they are in far-off distant lands.
So when we think of mighty and powerful kings on this earth, we really don't have good examples to help us understand kingship. We only stories that tell of kings from days past.
Then there's Pope Francis. He really is a benevolent dictator when you think about it. And by being elected the supreme pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church he is a sharer in the kingship of Christ.
But he is not what comes to mind when we think about kings. He is not a typical king. He is not a typical ruler. But Jesus isn't a typical king either.
Why? Because Jesus, from the cross, acts as king by forgiving those who were killing him.
Jesus, from the cross, hears the prayer of the dying thief. Jesus, from the cross, provides for his mother and his beloved disciple by giving them to each other.
Jesus, the Christ of God, the king of the Jews, the beginning and the end, the first born from the dead, the anointed Shepherd sent from God the Father, delivers us from the kingdom of darkness and transfers us to the kingdom of light.
Jesus makes peace by the blood of the cross. Jesus offers redemption and forgiveness of our sins by the blood of the cross. Jesus is king through the blood of cross.
And Jesus' kingdom is a kingdom of peace and justice and love. Jesus' kingdom is paradise.
As we close this Year of Mercy, can we let Jesus Christ be our priest, our prophet, our king. As priest, he offers us the sacrifice of the Last Supper, his very body and blood to nourish us and strengthen us.
As prophet, he calls us to change our ways, to turn from sin and choose to do good. As king, he deserves our reverence and respect.
As king, he inspires Pope Francis to govern his church on the earth.
Maybe it's good that we no longer have a clear understanding or concept of an earthly king. Having earthly kings lording it over us would make it difficult for us to accept Christ as our king.
The scriptures give us a clear understanding and concept of Christ our King. A king who gives us wisdom and strength. A king who brings the honor and power and glory. A king who forgives our sins and welcomes us into his kingdom of paradise.
Today we kneel before Christ our King and ask him to watch over us his loyal subjects, to protect us, to keep us safe, to love us and to always draws near to him, who lives and reigns, forever and ever.